A simple shift for better digestion…

Have you ever felt super stressed while eating and then had a stomach ache afterward?  How often do you feel completely at ease when you have a meal, not thinking or worrying about what something that gets your heart rate up (ie. your workload, the fact that the cat got out again, the traffic in front of you while you snack in the car, or even feeling guilty about the food you’re eating in that moment)?  If you are a human being in the modern world, my guess is that it may not be often that you aren’t feeling a little stressed during your meals.

Stress Less to Digest Better

When you stress, your body releases hormones that activate your “flight-or-fight” system, which stalls digestion.  This can decrease your insulin sensitivity and cause some problems if it occurs chronically, it can lead to blood sugar imbalance, chronic diseases (obesity, diabetes, etc.), immune function suppression, insomnia, chronic fatigue, and poor digestion….

So how do you avoid this and relax? SIMPLE WAYS:

  1. Sit down and stay a while.  Don’t eat on the go
  2. Chew slowly.  Focus on your food (ie. not all of the tasks you need to do that stress you out)
  3. Breathe before your meal.  Take deep, full breaths.  All the way down to your belly.  Try elongating the space between the inhales and exhales.
  4. Breathe while you eat. Put your fork down between bites.  How are you feeling? How does your food taste?
  5. Breathe after your meal.  Can you tell if breathing is important?
  6. Practice gratitude for your food before, during, after you eat. Think about the hands it took to grow, transport, and prepare your food.  Appreciate the gesture you are making to nourish your body.
  7. Get rid of guilt or shame.  Nobody can or should eat 100% only “healthy” foods.  (The definition is healthy for every body.) Allow yourself to enjoy your food and the opportunity you may have had to nourish your heart and soul if it wasn’t uber healthy.  And move on.  Don’t dwell in negative feelings.

By taking the time to slow down and activate that “rest and digest”, or relaxation, system, your body takes the time to focus on breaking down your food and absorbing it optimally into your cells.

 

I hope this helps!

Love, Lucy :)

 

 

==Reference: http://www.todaysdietitian.com/newarchives/111609p38.shtml==

 

 

 

Strawberry Chocolate (healthy!) Soft Serve Smoothie

Anyone who says strawberries and chocolate aren’t amazing is crazy.  Anyone who says strawberries and chocolate in the form of ice cream isn’t delicious, satisfying, dreamy creamy, and can just leave now.

I am the first to say that everyone is entitled to their opinions and preferences, so at okay if maybe this isn’t your jam. I just am also the first to say that chocolate has been the love of my life (sorry boys, the bar is set pretty high because of it…) and that chocolate ice milkshakes is the reason I denied my body’s negative response to dairy for over a year.  And this smoothie is the reason I can live without the dairy…

This is smooth and thick and sweet and decadent and sexy (okay maybe Ithats taking it too far…) and fit for literally any meal of the day.  The first time I made this recipe, I made it twice in a day because that is literally all I wanted to eat.  So if smoothies are your thing, definitely try this one out.

This is hearsay recipe that is going to fill you up with sustained energy throughout the day!! It is cold, thick, chocolates, sweet…all the things you’d look for in soft serve.


STRAWBERRY CHOCOLATE SOFT SERVE SMOOTHIE 
serves 1 bowl or 2 cups 

Ingredients:
1/2 cup almond milk (no more!!)
3 Tbs chia seeds
1 large handful spring mix
1 Tbsp cacao
1-2 Tbsp almond butter
1 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 cup ice

Method
Toss all ingredients in a high speed blender. Use a tamper to get all ingredients blended! If no tamper SAFELY use a wooden spoon, making sure to keep it out of the range of the blades. Top with any favorite toppings (shredded coconut, bee pollen, nut butter, cacao, berries, etc.) Serve immediately and spoon with a smile :)

Fat Activism. Bogus or a worthy cause? 

I was burning with rage.

And it was only 10am in an innocent lifecycle nutrition class. Our teacher showed us a great TED talk about accepting ourselves and our bodies an any size, but particularly as “curvy”. This great woman was standing there, openly declaring herself FAT and sharing all of the judgements, death threats, abuse, and leers she had received just from her body size. She had been openly laughed at for her size, to her face. 

This talk really struck a chord in me. I’ve always been taller than other girls, and even most guys, I’m around. I’ve never fit into that “box” that society wants all women to shrink themselves into.  Hearing Kelli Jean Drinkwater put a voice to all of the reasons that the diet industry thrives the way it does infuriated me. She put to voice the prejudice and shame that comes from our society about the size and shape of our bodies. Whether people tell it to our face or whether it shows up as that annoying self critic that tells us we aren’t good enough, we definitely can’t deny that “fat phobia” exists around us.

Why was I so angry, then? Because comments were made in my class that were directly based from this fat phobia that Kelli was protesting!  I was angry that people in our day and age, with so many strides for equal rights of race and gender and and sexual orientation happening, minds were closed to accepting our own freaking body size! I wanted to say that you never know where people are coming from, what their priorities in life are (like mental health and relationships) and how they want to feel and be treated on a daily basis.  Regardless, we all deserve acceptance for who we are.

Now I do understand that some people might call this and Kelli’s activism “glorifying obesity” and promoting unhealthy behaviors. I understand that there is a fine line between loving yourself and staying stuck in an unhealthy, stagnant mindset.  But let me challenge this–isn’t it about time that we promoted some body acceptance and mental health “at the expense” of appearance? Isn’t it about time that we gave ourselves permission to just be how we are? Especially if that means not looking the way the diet industry tells us we should look.  Believe it or not, the image of perfect fitness most often lies outside of what would be considered “healthy”.

Who knows what this lady’s goals are? Maybe she tried to lose weight before but was met with this exact wall of uninviting shame and judgement.  Maybe she decided that her mental health took priority over her physical health because, after all, who would be able to do something that took so much effort while the people they interact with turned its back instead of giving support? How can we write off her health just by looking and judging her? I don’t blame anyone would wouldn’t want to rejoin this “thin is better” mindset after she left that party years ago? Who would want to join that after experiencing open-minded, supportive, and liberating feeling of accepting yourself?

So I challenge you to be honest with yourself. Do you experience judgements about body size? Do you notice yourself making quick assumptions about people that may not be true or have any accurate assumptions? How apt are you to make a snap judgement about someone’s body–both about yourself and others? I challenge you to look past body size and appearance to see what really makes you feel uncomfortable, underneath the skin.

I must admit, I am not perfect either.  I have to keep myself in check, too, and awareness is the first step to getting past any judgements.  I mean, you can’t work to improve something you don’t know exists.  Food for thought: I find that the degree to which I am judging others usually reflects the degree to which I am judging myself.

Remember, you are perfect as you are now and always worthy of love.

Love, Lucy

 

 

//picture from Kelli Jean Drinkwater’s site//